Pre-application service

Nutrient Neutrality Advice - added 16 March 2022

Natural England together with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUCH) announced on 16 March 2022 that the administrative area of Darlington Borough Council is now located within the catchment area of the Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast Special Protection Area.  Under the Habitats Regulations, those planning authorities falling within the catchment area must carefully consider the nutrients impacts of any projects, including new development proposals, on habitat sites and whether those impacts may have an adverse effect on the integrity of the site that requires mitigation. 

This impacts on all planning applications, both existing and proposed, which relate to all types of overnight accommodation, such as new dwellings, care homes, student accommodation, holiday accommodation etc. and impacts all developments for one dwelling upwards.  It also affects other applications where development may impact upon water quality, including those seeking to discharge planning conditions relating to foul and surface water drainage for a range of development proposals.   As such, and notwithstanding the advice contained within this response regarding the acceptability of your proposal, should you choose to submit a planning application this matter will need to be considered as part of the application process and is likely to require the submission of further information from you.  At this early stage however, and until we know more from Natural England, I am unable to advise you what further information is required. 

This appears to be a very complex issue that affects not just Darlington Borough Council but other local planning authorities within the Tees Valley, North Yorkshire and Cumbria falling within the catchment area and will impact on a large number of existing planning applications that we have together with our ability to provide pre-application advice.  We expect to be issued with further guidance in the forthcoming weeks, although this cannot be guaranteed.  Once we are in a position to provide you with further advice as to what supporting information would be necessary to accompany any application you wish to make.


Do you..

  • Have plans for building works or other developments?
  • Have business premises, but wish to change the current use or alter/extend them?

Are you...

Unsure if you need permission or whether your proposals are likely to be acceptable?

Our Pre Application process is service offered to identify major issues and advise if permission is likely to be granted.

Pre-application charter and fees [pdf document]

If you would like us to check your proposal before you submit an application, please fill in one of the following forms:


If you need a legally binding decision on if a householder proposal requires planning permission, you should apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Use or Development under the Town and Country Planning Act 1991 [as amended].

This legally binding certificate is often needed by lenders before funds are released.

Forms and guidance
Link to Form Name/Description Copies Required Link to Guidance Text
Certificate of Lawful Use (Proposed) Form Application for a Lawful Development Certificate for a Proposed use or development 1 Guidance for Certificate of Lawful Use (proposed) form
Certificate of Lawful Use (Existing) Form Application for a Lawful Development Certificate for an Existing use or operation or activity including those in breach of a planning condition 1 Guidance for Certificate of Lawful Use (existing) form


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